The Union Budget 2024 is scheduled to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 23, marking her seventh presentation of a Union Budget, which also makes her the first Finance Minister to present seven union budgets in a row. Morarji Desai held this record previously, by presenting six consecutive budgets.

Nirmala Sitharaman after presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha.

Also Read: Your Union Budget 2024 cheatsheet: Direct, indirect taxes and what you must look for

Another record that Nirmala Sitharaman holds is the one for the longest budget speech. Let’s take a look at some of the longest Union Budget speeches in history, along with the shortest one as well.

India’s longest Union Budget speeches

1. Nirmala Sitharaman (2020-21): 2 hours 40 minutes

The speech for the Union Budget 2020 delivered by Nirmala Sitharaman is India’s longest Union Budget speech. The Union Budget 2020 speech on February 1, 2020 went on for a total of 2 hours and 40 minutes, from 11 am to 1:40 pm.

The important announcements in her speech included the introduction of the new income tax regime, as well as LIC’s initial public offering (IPO).

She was also unable to fully complete her speech as she felt unwell towards the last two pages. Due to this, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had to continue and finish the rest of her speech.

2. Nirmala Sitharaman (2019-20): 2 hours 17 minutes

Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech for the Union Budget 2020 was in fact, her second budget speech after becoming the Finance Minister in 2019. Her first budget speech in 2019 was in fact, the previous record, being 2 hours and 17 minutes long.

Also Read: Worried about rising prices? Here’s what inflation trends are ahead of Union Budget

This budget announced the pre-filing of income tax returns, and MSME benefits.

3. Jaswant Singh (2003-04): 2 hours 13 minutes

The record for the longest Union Budget speech was previously held by the then-Finance Minister Jaswant Singh, all the way back in 2003. His speech went on for 2 hours and 13 minutes, making it the third-longest budget speech so far.

In the speech, Singh proposed universal health insurance, introduced the ability of e-filing income tax returns, and mentioned reductions in customs duty on certain items.

4. Arun Jaitley (2014-15): 2 hours 10 minutes

The fourth longest Union Budget speech was by Arun Jaitley back in 2014, which went on for 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Also Read: Budget 2024: Why you must pay attention to fiscal deficit in Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech

Jaitley proposed the setting up of more All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), increased the tax exemption slab from 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh, and raised foreign direct investment (FDI) for defence to 49%.

Which one was India’s shortest Union Budget speech?

The shortest budget speech Union Budget speech in India was by Hirubhai M. Patel, who presented the interim budget for the year 1977-78. It was merely 800 words long.